If China’s show of force over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip was meant as a deterrent, it has not had the intended effect in Taiwan, where the military drills have reinforced a careful two-pronged strategy of shoring up international support, while avoiding overt confrontation. The exercises, which encircled the self-ruled island and simulated a blockade, appear instead to have hardened the Taiwanese belief in the value of the island’s diplomatic, economic and military maneuverings to stake out a middle ground in the big-power standoff between China and the United States. Under President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwanese officials have quietly courted Washington, making gains with weapon sales and vows of support for the democracy. They have also held back from flaunting that success, in an effort to avoid outbursts from China, which claims the island as its own. As Beijing vows to normalize the military drills ever closer to Taiwan, that approach is likely to guide the island’s … [Read more...] about As China Vows More Military Exercises, Taiwan Is Undeterred
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In downtown Nanjing, China, a fishmonger sold a lot more ribbon fish than usual for Lunar New Year family gatherings two weeks ago. A florist in a run-down shopping mall on the south side of the city sold more roses. But a lamp vendor a few steps away in the mall has seen no recovery in sales. And at an Infiniti car dealership on Nanjing’s edge, customer visits have jumped 20 or 30 percent, but have not yet translated into extra car sales. “The economic impact of the epidemic lingers in some ways, but we estimate that things will get better this year,” Edith Xu, the marketing manager for the dealership, said on Thursday. Two months after China abruptly abandoned its stringent “zero Covid” policies and let the virus sweep through its population with deadly effect, the country’s economy has begun to recover. Consumers are spending again after taking a long pause during lockdowns in Shanghai last spring and in many Chinese cities in late autumn. Factories and ports are running … [Read more...] about Flowers, Fresh Fish and Movies: China Is Spending Again, Cautiously
TAIPEI, Taiwan — The job offer from a Chinese semiconductor company was appealing. A higher salary. Work trips to explore new technologies. No matter that it would be less prestigious for Kevin Li than his job in Taiwan at one of the world’s leading chip makers. Mr. Li eagerly moved to northeast China in 2018, taking part in a wave of corporate migration as the Chinese government moved aggressively to build up its semiconductor industry. He went back to Taiwan after two years, as Covid-19 swept through China and global tensions intensified. Other highly skilled Taiwanese engineers are going home, too. For many, the strict pandemic measures have been tiresome. Geopolitics has made the job even more fraught, with China increasingly vocal about staking its claim on Taiwan, a self-ruled democracy. The Taiwanese government has begun to discourage local engineers from going to China, concerned that they were taking proprietary information with them. “Some who went to … [Read more...] about Engineers From Taiwan Bolstered China’s Chip Industry. Now They’re Leaving.
The Chinese spy balloon might be down , but the diplomatic temperature continued to rise Sunday as officials in Beijing blasted the U.S. decision to shoot it out of the sky. Describing it as “a clear overreaction,” Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China’s Defense Ministry, said in a statement Sunday that his country reserved “the right to use necessary means to deal with similar situations.” In a similarly strongly worded statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said it was “a serious violation of international customary practice.” Both statements described the balloon as a “civilian unmanned airship,” and China had previously said the orb was used for research and “meteorological purposes.” An American F-22 Raptor shot down what the Defense Department called a “high-altitude surveillance balloon,” with a single missile off South Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The U.S. military will now focus on salvaging parts of the craft from a debris field that spans about 7 nautical … [Read more...] about Downed spy balloon leads to rise in diplomatic tensions between U.S. and China
A US military operation to shoot down a Chinese "spy balloon" that had been hovering in American airspace came at a tense time for the two superpowers, whose relationship has been on rocky ground for years. But how did the US successfully down it with a single missile - and what intelligence are they now hoping to find in the wreckage? A vast underwater search is now taking place to find the remains of the balloon, which the United States is confident will show the Chinese were lying about its purpose above American airspace. China has previously said it was used for meteorological research and veered off course due to high winds, and with limited "self-steering capabilities" it was unable to right itself. Yet the Pentagon says the balloon, which was carrying sensors and surveillance equipment, was manoeuvrable and showed it could change course when it loitered over sensitive areas of Montana where nuclear warheads are siloed. The balloon was then seen … [Read more...] about How did the US successfully shoot down China’s ‘spy balloon’ with a single missile – and what was on it?
close Video Biden's State of the Union draws worst ratings in 30 years Fox News contributor Lara Trump says Americans are increasingly frustrated with Biden's performance as president. All eyes are on China and President Biden’s handling of the spy balloon from the Communist state that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina ahead of his State of the Union speech Tuesday. Republicans are voicing concerns that the administration has ignored or downplayed the growing threat of the Chinese Communist Party after a Chinese surveillance balloon was allowed to drift across the continental U.S. for several days before being taken down by the U.S. military. The president only mentioned China three times during his last address on March 1, arguing that his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law "put us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century that we face with the rest of the world, particularly China." "But, folks, to … [Read more...] about Biden only mentioned China 3 times in 2022 State of the Union address
Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister of Israel towards the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, says the West “blocked” a ceasefire he was helping to broker early in the war. Bennett, who was prime minister and then alternate prime minister in Israel during a confusing period of coalition politics prior to the return of Benjamin Netanyahu as head of government in December, said that “there was a good chance of reaching a ceasefire” before the Western powers “curbed” negotiations in a wide-ranging interview uploaded to YouTube. Israel is one of a number of states traditionally seen as being aligned with the West, along with the likes of India and Turkey , which have played little or no part in efforts to support Ukraine militarily or engage in the sanctions war with Russia, with Bennett explaining that while “the Americans expect… that we all rally for Ukraine” this would not necessarily have been in Israel’s interests. By way of example, Bennett … [Read more...] about Western Powers ‘Blocked’ Ceasefire Early in Ukraine War: Israeli Ex-PM
WASHINGTON — A foreign spy craft miles above the earth. A missile fired to bring it down. A flimsy cover story: just a weather plane! A high-stakes diplomatic meeting ruptured and tense superpower relations inflamed. History, like good television, may not repeat, but sometimes it reaches back to earlier seasons for inspiration. To students of the Cold War, the saga of the Chinese balloon crossing American airspace seemed eerily reminiscent of the U-2 spy plane incident that provoked a tense confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was one of the most fraught moments of the four-decade conflict pitting East against West, with enduring consequences. In that case, the nation spying on a rival was the United States, which regularly sent the high-altitude U-2 surveillance planes over Soviet territory confident that they were beyond the reach of Russian surface-to-air missiles — until just such missiles knocked one of its planes out of the sky on May 1, 1960. … [Read more...] about A Foreign Spy Craft. Superpowers on Edge. But It Was 1960, Not 2023.
A former CIA officer said on Sunday that she is "hopeful" about the information that can now be recovered from the downed Chinese spy balloon. The strange craft was first sighted over Billings, Montana, on Wednesday, and despite China's claims about it being a weather balloon, it was ultimately found to be a surveillance device. Following days of debate and calls for the craft to be shot down, the U.S. military finally took out the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday afternoon roughly six nautical miles off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Countering criticism over the government's seeming inaction against the balloon earlier in the week, President Joe Biden said that he first ordered the balloon destroyed on Wednesday, but military officials insisted that they wait until it was over the ocean, to prevent debris from harming people on the ground. Following its destruction, the government began the process of recovering parts of the craft to see what … [Read more...] about Former CIA officer explains how Chinese spy balloon may benefit U.S.
Follow our live coverage of Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit . TAIPEI, Taiwan — In Washington, there has been anxious debate over whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi should risk the visit. In Beijing, there have been anger and threats . In Taiwan, where Ms. Pelosi landed late Tuesday, the new flare-up in tensions has been met with a subdued defiance. Politicians from Taiwan’s two main political parties have offered support for the trip, a sentiment echoed by many in the self-ruled democracy of more than 23 million people, which China claims as its own. While China released videos of planes and missiles flying to menacing music, one popular meme in Taiwan remade Ms. Pelosi as a powerful Taoist goddess. A Taiwanese politician wagered a chicken cutlet giveaway over her visit. Inured to living in one of the world’s most dangerous geopolitical flash points, Taiwanese people have largely taken the prospect of the visit in stride. That steely nonchalance belies a political reality that … [Read more...] about As Pelosi Arrives, Quiet Defiance in Taiwan